Newt Gingrich has launched a campaign to find a more accurate name for the cell phone.
In a video posted online earlier this month
, the former Speaker of the House argued the term "cell phone" no longer accurately describes the hand-held device so many of us rely on to communicate and network in our personal and professional lives.
Gingrich pointed specifically to the multitude of features available on most every "smart phone" –specifically apps and the ability to take pictures and search online.
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"Think about it. If it is taking pictures, it’s not a cell phone. If it has a McDonald’s app to tell you where McDonald’s is based on your GPS location — that’s not a cellphone. If you can get Wikipedia or go to Google — that’s not a cell phone. If you can watch YouTube — that’s not a cell phone," Gingrich said in the video. "This device is something new and different."
"I have been calling it a handheld computer, but I decided that really was misleading," the former Speaker added. "While it has the computing power of a 2003 laptop, its real power is not internal computation, its real power is networking. It's connected to the entire world of information, and the entire world of communications."
Gingrich further compared the term "cell phone" to the "horseless carriage," the initial description of the automobile given at the turn of the century.
So why Gingrich believe a new name is necessary?
"The reason this is important, and the reason I want your help in figuring out what to call this is its real potential triggers a world of opportunity of breakouts that are going to dramatically change how we operate, how we solve problems, how we work government," Gingrich said.
After asking viewers to post their suggestions for a new name below the video on his website gingrichproductions.com, the Speaker added: "I think that we need to have a new conversation about re-centering American politics and government around the kinds of breakthroughs that this makes possible."
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To date the video, which was also posted to YouTube, has received more than a quarter of a million views.
Among the constructive suggestions posted to gingrichproductions.com were the "digital assistant," the "handy," – the German term for a cell phone, and "the communicator" or "com" for short, a reference to similar technology on the popular sci-fi TV show, Star Trek.
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